How The GTA 6 Hacker Was Caught From A Travelodge Hotel

A member of the cyber-crime group Lapsus$ was caught “red handed” after City of London Police searched his hotel room and found a Amazon Fire Stick that granted him access to the internet. As reported by GamesRadar (from an original story by the BBC), Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old hacker from Oxford, was a member of the group responsible for a hacking spree against high-profile tech firms. 


Chief among which was Rockstar – which resulted in the widespread leak of 90 photos and videos from an early build of GTA 6 ending up online. It is believed Kurtaj shared the material from inside a Travelodge hotel – while on bail for hacking. Kurtaj was under protective custody inside the hotel after a rival hacker group shared personal information connected to his family.


The incident against Rockstar was deemed as his “most audacious” crime. Kurtaj posted a message to Rockstar’s Slack message board, explaining that he was not “a Rockstar employee” but instead “an attacker.”


GTA V. (Pic: Rockstar).

He informed the company that he had downloaded valuable assets associated with GTA 6 and warned “if Rockstar does not contact me on Telegram within 24 hours I will start releasing the source code.”


Kurtaj has been remanded in custody, while an unnamed 17-year-old defendant has been bailed. The two are believed to have met online and begun hacking in July 2021, attacking tech companies including BT and EE, demanding a ransom fee of $4m (£3.1m). No ransom was paid. In another hacking spree, Lapsus$ illegally obtained sensitive data from Nvidia.


The lead barrister in the prosecution, Kevin Barry, said Kurtaj and those within the group continually demonstrated a “juvenile desire to stick two fingers” against their victims, and illustrated how “easy it was for its members” to access high-profile organisations.


Kurtaj and the 17-year-old are due to be sentenced at a later date.

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